Dalmatia – Split Region

Dalmatia – Split Region

A wealth of diversity and challenges for all kinds of cyclists - from Split, Brač, Hvar and Vis to the secluded places in the bosom of the Dalmatian Hinterland

A combination of mighty nature and cultural-historical heritage with indelible traces of different civilisations, this is the Dalmatia – Split region. Starting from the magnificent, rocky mountain of Biokovo with its Sveti Jure peak that separates 60 kilometres of the beautiful pebble beaches of the Makarska Riviera, hidden in the shade of pine trees, from the spacious Dalmatian hinterland with fields in the karst landscape – Cetinsko Polje, Paško Polje, Vrličko Polje, Sinjsko Polje, Vrgoračko Polje and Imotsko Polje successively.

 

The main characteristic of this region is of course its heart, the city of Split, unique for its ever lively, yet relaxed stone quayside, Diocletian’s Palace, a monument from UNESCO’s list of world heritage, the beach of Bačvice and the game of picigin plus the Marjan forest-park, with the most beautiful view of the city, as well as a haven for all those who come to it. The guardian of Split is the centuries-old, imposing fortress of Klis, from the 9th century the centre of the Croatian princes and kings of the Trpimirović dynasty, today the filming location of the series ‘Game of Thrones’, whilst nearby Solin, ancient Salona, in the little Church of Our Lady of the Island on the Jadro River the memory of the coronation of Croatian kings is preserved.

The region of Split has the cyclotourist brand Bike Dalmatia with a network on the website www.dalmatia-bike.com. The region is divided into six zones: The Split Riviera with Split, Omiš and the island of Šolta, the Makarska Riviera, the islands of Brač, Hvar and Vis and the Dalmatian Hinterland with Dugopolje, Sinj, Vrlika and Trilj, which follow the promotional cycling map with many interesting routes.

 

On the Dalmatian Hinterland map there are a total of 20 cycling routes. If one heads from the hinterland to the attractions of the surroundings of the town of Vrlika, there are three different possible objectives: Lake Peruča, Golo Brdo and the sources of the River Cetina. The sources of the Cetina are so unique, attractive and beautiful thanks to the clear and blue-green colour of the water, that you simply mustn’t miss them. Route number 571 leads to them. Route 572 leads to Lake Peruča, the third largest artificial lake in Croatia with its attractive surroundings and view of Dinara, whilst route 573 leads to the nearby Vrlika vantage point of Golo Brdo.

 

From Dugopolje there is the interesting road route number 401 to the cave of Vranjača located in the region of the central part of the Mosor mountain, as well as route 402 Rera Dugopolje with traces of the Split-Sinj narrow-gauge railway. However, for the region of Cetinsko Polje, besides Sinj and the Sinjska Alka tournament, most significant is the largest central Dalmatian river the Cetina, which is the decoration of the area of all its 105 km length from its source to its mouth into the Adriatic Sea in the picturesque town of Omiš. Route 451 circularly connects the towns of Sinj and Trilj on the Cetina irrespective of which one you choose to start from. The little river of Grab, a tributary of the Cetina, with traditional stone built watermills at its source can be reached from Trilj on the Cetina via route 502.

Zoran Jelača

It is also worth going on a trip to Imotski and making a circular route of the Imotski lakes and fortresses and Prološko Blato, which is a typical example of a flooded karst field in Dalmatia.

There are two lakes – Modro and Crveno (Blue and Red), and there are two fortresses, Topana in Imotski and Badnjevice between Proložac and Ričice. On the way to Imotski Vrgorac is passed, the town of strawberries, bikla and Tin Ujević, where the Hotel Prvan with the nearby ethno-village of Kokorići offers cycling tours of Vrgorac’s fields - Bunina, Jezero and Rastok, the Napoleon Road and the Tobacco Trail.

 

If you return from the hinterland to the Makarska Riviera through the Sveti Ilija tunnel, it is best to use the promotional map of the riviera with six cycling routes of a total length of 200 kilometres. The routes also lead down the panoramic roads and promenades of Lungomare through the tourist spots of the riviera, as well as paths and roads to which one should climb steeply and cross the Biokovo slopes in passing through the old villages of Podbiokovlje with views as though seen from an aeroplane. The Biokovo Nature Park and the Kotišina Botanical Garden are worth visiting via route 240, whilst route 241 leads over the highest asphalted road in Croatia. With it you can reach the peak of Biokovo – Sveti Jure ( 1,762 m), the second highest peak in Croatia and you feel like a professional cyclist in the race through Croatia – the Tour of Croatia, which in its “royal section” climbs up the mountain of Učka in Kvarner (1,401 m).

Split port is the passage or boat crossing towards the majority of the Dalmatian islands, and first is Brač, then Hvar and Vis. On Brač the map of cycling routes offers 25 routes to all parts of the island, of which route 768 leads to Vidova Gora (780 m), the highest peak of all the Adriatic islands. Route 761 leads to the heart of the island, the village of Škrip, the oldest settlement on the island with the Island of Brač Museum and the Museum of Olive Oil, whilst route 757 runs circularly from Supetar through Mirca and Sutivan to Ložišća, a charming place with the most beautiful church bell tower on the island from 1888 according to the design of the famous sculptor Ivan Rendić, also a son of Brač from Supetar.

 

The map of cycling routes on the island of Hvar offers 13 cycling routes by which the whole island is well connected. Routes 704 and 705 lead over the Stari Grad Plain part of UNESCO’s list of world heritage with the unique experience of numerous regular paths and terraced parcels preserved since the age of ancient Greece and which are still in use today. There are two more interesting routes, the shorter 707 and longer 708, which lead over the highest peak of Hvar - Sveti Nikola (628 m).

 

After Brač and Hvar a visit to Vis or Šolta can be planned because both islands are special, each in their own way. Šolta offers an unforgettable experience of raw natural beauty within reach of Split, and Vis, is a lone open-sea island of a particular atmosphere and preservation as a result of the long-term inaccessibility due to the military base which is increasingly visited by tourists interested in visiting the 40 or so abandoned military buildings and the bike ride from Vis to Komiža. The film ‘Mamma Mia 2’ was filmed here.

 

Go and get ready for a totally different trip through Dalmatia!